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5 W Central Avenue West
Omak, WA, 98841
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Hearing Loss

Hearing loss 

Common Types of Hearing Loss 

Conductive

Sensorineural 

Mixed Hearing Loss 

 Unilateral Hearing Loss 

Sudden Hearing Loss 

High Frequency Hearing Loss 

 

 

What Are The Differences Between These Types Of Hearing Loss?

Conductive: 

Conductive Hearing Loss affects the passage of sound between the eardrum and the inner ear. Sound passes down the ear canal to the ear drum and through the middle ear, where the sound is transmitted across the middle ear by the three bones, called the ossicles, to the inner ear. Conductive Hearing Loss is due to problems within the ear canal, eardrum, and/or middle ear. 

Causes:

  • Malformation of outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear structures
  • Fluid in the middle ear from colds
  • Ear infection 
  • Eustachian tube malfunction 
  • Allergies 
  • Benign tumors
  • Infection of the ear canal 
  • Foreign body in the ear 
  • Perforated eardrum
  • Impacted earwax
  • Otosclerosis  

Sensorineural: 

Sensorineural Hearing Loss, also known as nerve-related hearing loss, is damage to the hair cells in the cochlea or damage to the neural pathways of hearing. With this type of hearing loss it is not always possible to tell which part is damaged and is therefore often listed together as Sensorineural Hearing Loss.

Causes:

  • Exposure to loud noises 
  • Head Trauma 
  • Autoimmune inner ear disease 
  • Virus or disease 
  • Hearing Loss that runs in the family 
  • Aging 
  • Malformation of the inner ear
  • Meniere's disease 
  • Otosclerosis 
  • Tumors 

Mixed Hearing Loss: 

Mixed Hearing Loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This means there may be damage in the outer or middle ear along with damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve. 

Causes:

  • Illness 
  • Drugs 
  • Head Trauma 
  • Genetic Causes
  • Malformation of inner, outer, and/or middle ear
  • Impacted earwax 
  • Fluids in the middle ear
  • Ear infections 
  • Perforated eardrum

Unilateral Hearing Loss: 

Also known as Single Sided Deafness (SSD), it is typically caused by viral infections, Meniere's Disease, head or ear injuries, or through surgical intervention to remove brain tumors. In addition to impaired hearing on one side, some people may have trouble determining the direction in which sound is traveling. 

Causes: 

  • Injury to the ear and/or head
  • Exposure to loud noises 
  • Blockage in the ear 
  • Tumor 
  • Illness 

Sudden Hearing Loss: 

Sudden Hearing Loss is defined as greater than 30 dB (decibels) hearing reduction over at least three contiguous frequencies occurring over a period of 72 hours or less. The cause of Sudden Hearing Loss still remains unknown in most patients but there are common causes. 

Causes: 

  • Meniere's Disease 
  • Neoplastic 
  • Traumatic damage 
  • Metabolic damage 
  • Neurologic damage 
  • Immunologic damage 
  • Toxic damage 
  • Cochlear damage 
  • Idiopathic damage 

High Frequency Hearing Loss:

Losing the ability to hear high frequencies is a common early side effect of hearing loss. People are diagnosed with high frequency hearing loss if they are unable to hear sounds between 2,000 Hz and 8,000 Hz which is measured with an audiogram. 

Causes: 

  • Noise Exposure (live concert, construction site, noise at work exposure)
  • Aging 
  • Medical Conditions
    • Diabetes 
    • Dementia 
    • Tinnitus